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megathrust: shaken, not stirred?

It was a bit disconcerting, getting a frantic phone call asking if my family was all right - huh? earthquake in sumatra? tidal waves? since when?????

I remember bits of my geography lessons, where i heaved a huge sigh of relief seeing that Malaysia was not at risk of earthquakes, but Indonesia was due to its location above a tectonic plate/fault or whatever. Of course, I also remember the few rare occasions where tremors HAD been reported in Malaysia... but those were always tiny, and as a result of a quake with an epicenter nowhere close to home.

My sms'es to a few family & friends helped me get a better picture of what happened... and while I can rest easy that my family is fine, my heart goes out to the 53 (and counting) deaths from the northern states of Penang, Kedah & Perlis, including the island of Langkawi. ... Mithz ... A-A ... salehmo ... and others from that part of the country - I hope all is well for ya...

And.. well... I do like to surf /research stuff …

snow snow snow & gobble gobble gobble!

It's the thanxgiving weekend!!! this is one of THE "balik kampung" seasons here in the U.S.... and so yesterday drove up to one family gathering .... today we are recovering a bit before going to yet another house... i am stufffffffed.....

oh.. and it rained all morning on wednesday... by noon snow was mixed in with the rain... after lunch it was just snow (and STRONG winds!!)... by 5pm there musta been an inch of snow accumulated already.... brrrrrrrrr!!!! hasnt snowed since, but it's still pretty cold!! will need to get myself some proper footwear for this weather.. keep my already cold extremeties warm!!

What is a Thylacine?

Clicking around Yahoo!News today brought me to an unusual article about a "Tasmanian Tiger." When I read the first few paragraphs, I was thinking "Oh my, this sounds like the hunt for bigfoot or something"... imagine: a creature with the head of a wolf, the pouch of a kangaroo and the stripes of a tiger?! Well it blew my mind to know this creature actually DOES exist (or HAD existed, depending what you think).

... have spent the last few minutes searching for pictures/photos on this animal... thot I'd share them with you... for your own education, dear reader :-) I think it's amazing to come across reference to an animal I never knew ever existed!!

For a short page to get you started, click here or take the Tasmanian Tour.

For a much more comprehensive guide to this animal, check out The Thylacine Museum which labels itself as an online reference guide to the thylacine. Its mainpage is rather busy, but here are some noteworthy pages:

The Fleay Photograph: excel…

... wake-up call: life is short ...

Just received news that an ex-colleague of mine, from my past life in [PGB], passed away ~7am on Friday 12th November 2004.

While I was never "close" to her, she always struck me as someone who easily befriended everybody she met. Bubbly personality. Kinda in-yo'-face but at the same time u knew she wasn't being mean about it. It seems she'd been kinda battling w her health for a few years; 2 years ago she was diagnosed with having fibroids and underwent an operation to remove it/them/whatever. Could not remove all of it. Took a turn for the worse in early November, and then, well, you already know what happened on the 12th. I have no idea of her exact age: am guessing between 35-40.

I was tempted to type that she was "too young" ... but then again... while ideally one would want to live to a ripe old age, you just know that in this day and age, it gets tougher for us to aspire to such lofty goals.

The water we drink: how much JUNK is in it? What with all …

Is Aidil Fitri truly "meaningful" to you?

This is a quickie-post for today.... while this is being typed, I bet most people in Malaysia are stuffing their faces celebrating the end of the fasting month! And I also bet many of you are expecting me to be all homesick, what with being away from home and all.... well... the "raya mood" has yet to ever strike me... never has and probably never will. Don't cry for me argentina...

Many thanx to all of those who sms'ed me raya greetings over the past few days - they were greatly appreciated, it is nice to know I am thought of even when halfway across the world from most of you! ... btw I sent out greetings to almost everyone in my phone's address book - so if you did not receive an sms from me, that means I dont have you on my phone - so sms me NOW!! ;-)

And whether or not you were a recepient of my SMS : that does NOT prevent me from wishing all my readers (heeeheheheh i wonder just how many readers i *do* have!!) a safe "DeepaRaya".... yes, my dears, …

Something Malaysian :-)

Stumbled across some interesting links tonight, thot I'd share them with my readers:

1. Here's a perspective of a Penangite: My Malaysian way of life....

2. From him, I found my way to this excellent site: Inconsiderate and hopelessly lousy drivers.......

3. Which in turn led me to the Pandu Cermat page. You *have* to check this one out.. if you upload a picture, you may choose to input the "No. kenderaan si sial"!! LOL!!!

"safety" certainly NOT first for Malaysians!

I was just plain disgusted at this recent news article I read:

Imagine that: the 6-yr old kid had it right! Be safe, cross the road using the pedestrian bridge! But the “adult” “parent”, the one who is supposed to role model correct behaviour, pooh-poohs the kid, and insists on crossing a SIX-LANE highway, in the pouring rain, because the gap in the divider will make it “faster,” … and proceeds to get them all mowed down by a passing vehicle.

My dear reader: please, take a few seconds to ask yourself : “What would I have done in the same situation?” There you are, with your two precious kids in tow : would YOU have jaywalked across a highway in the pouring rain?

I’m sorry, but I feel so GOOD to see something like this happen. I feel badly for the affected family and all, but, well, you reap what you sow, right? Maybe, just maybe, thanks to this incident, Malaysians in general will think twice about simply jaywalking any which where they please? Maybe, just maybe, Malaysians may let go of…

... self-boosting one's ego?

This is SO amusing... how many of us look for all sorts of things to boost out self-confidence, our sense of self-pride? Here's how someone I know boosted her own ego:

This is part of her "signature" which gets appended at the end of her e-mail... at 23 lines long, it's usually longer than the body of the mail itself!

Is this another indication of us being content with "fame by association" rather than acknowledgement of our own worth? You decide:

[name deleted]
Mobile : [deleted]
Email : [deleted]
Website : http://[deleted]

*Personal Domestic Assistant & sister-in-law
to YBhg. Datin Seri Paduka [name deleted]
(wife of [name deleted] Minister of Malaysia,
YB Dato' Seri Paduka [name deleted])

*Part-time Vocal Instructor/Trainer
@ [company name deleted] (formerly [company name deleted])
a company owned by [name deleted]
(vocal instructor for Akademi Fantasia)

*Managing Director
of [company name deleted] Sdn Bhd
(an entertainment product…

Airlines: hoot @ security

yes yes this is about a month old but i *have* to post this!! I had two surprises awaiting me upon my arrival in Newark - one humourous, one slightly disturbing...

First the disturbing one:
In a previous post, I had mentioned something about an 8hr layover in Newark airport the day I arrived in the U.S.... well I spent most of that time in the "public" area of the airport, just because I didnt want to enter the waiting area until I had to. Well, soon came the time I needed to get to the gate.
Walked over to the security scanning area...
and was promptly thankful that I always build in so much buffer in case I'm late for some reason! The line didnt seem to move: I mean, what's so difficult about putting your carry-on luggage on that belt thingy, and walking thru the arch thingy? Well, let's see.. how about expecting everyone to take off their shoes to be scanned??!! And I guess they were actually closely watching the x-ray screen: took forever for each person to get …

… the idiot box rules o.k. !

Am getting back in touch with some long-forgotten TV programs, as well as getting acquainted with other shows I never really got into before, plus discovering shows that probably never got to Malaysian TV. Yep, if I wanted to be glued to the idiot-box all day, I could! Here's just a small sample of my daily fare:

Re-run heaven:
Happy Days: The Fonz doesn’t look THAT sexy no more. Sooooo outdated! This was before my time even when eye was growing up!
Magnum P.I.: Talking about outdated - hilarious to see Tom Selleck in those shorts and curly-wurly hair!
Friends: so what if I have Season 1-9 on VCD? Always good to catch any episode! :-D Just wish I could catch Season 10!! No sign of those when I left KL L

Getting to know you again:
The Simpsons: an adult-oriented cartoon, featuring Bart the irreverent kid, and Homer the d’oh nucler plant operator. Famous for the phrases “Cowabunga, dude” “Eat my shorts” :-D
Everybody loves Raymond: so-so series, good to pass the time away while waiting for…

A must-see: "Office Space"

Calling all people who relate all too well to Dilbert cartoons! Check out "Office Space" and discover a surprising movie with a large cult following, from the creator of… MTV’s Beavis and Butthead?! Ugh!

B&B were NOT my fave cartoon characters at all, and I had next to no respect for anyone who found them hilarious. So of course, when I was recommended to watch a movie by B&B’s creator, I was like “Uh, yeah, sure, uh-huh, I guess I could watch it one day.”

I was obviously turned around, or else I would be writing this, would I?

Most of the actors are unknowns to me, except Jennifer Aniston who plays a waitress (SO much like her job at Central Perk! that one time in Friends).

Won’t divulge too much about the storyline. The main character is someone who has decided to “let go” in relation to his job, just at the time when the company where he works hires consultants *gasp!* to improve efficiency (a.k.a downsize :p ). Battles with bosses, fax machines, and “the system” abo…

Team America : F**k yeah!

I certainly wasn’t planning on catching “Team America: World Police” anytime in the near future; glad an impromptu invitation last Saturday fixed that!

The opening scene had me already muttering angrily about the typical stereotype Arab-terrorist character as perceived by a typical American… but it then proceeded to expose the short-sighted arrogance of a typical American too! Imagine the members of Team America expecting the French to be grateful for their intervention at countering a terrorist plot yet remaining oblivious to the sacrilege they had committed by blowing up the Arche de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre! (I wonder how many Americans actually UNDERSTOOD that part of the scene?!) Anyways, so that scene reminded me of who the makers of the movie were: none other than the creators of South Park! So who was I to expect anything less than irreverent sharp witty satire? Especially from a movie that claims to "... put the "F" back in freedom"

With th…

I cooked again!

Yes I did! And this time it was more sophisticated than fried eggs and cheese!

Last Monday, 1st November 2004, saw me cooking Thai Red Curry that came out yummy! Many thanx to Brahim’s for a great yet easily prepared dish! Whoohoo!

Yes, I had tried out that other brand (Mdm Khoo’s Deli?) recommended by “Madam” before I left Malaysia, but it somehow wasn’t that impressive. Perhaps that’s because I forgot whatever it is that I was advised to add (in addition to the existing instructions on the pack? Heeeheh! Well, I didn’t have to add anything to the Brahim’s one – aaaaah, heaven for a reluctant chef J

Will keep y’all informed of any further inroads I make in the kitchen area :-D

FuRtHeRiNg mY bLoG eDuCaTiOn

This blog-queen-wannabe has succeeded in the following:

1. you may have noticed i've made my blogs on this main page as "expandable summaries" this means that you get some "teasers" of each blog, and would need click on the link to get the full story. Did that cos I myself found it bothersome to have to scroll down and down and down to get to the next blog entry.. hopefully you appreciate that too.

2. At every item page (where you end up when you click the read more link) I've also added a "back to main page" link. Yes sure you could just hit the back button on your browser... but let's say someone sends someone else a link to just that one item page... I'd like for that someone to easily get to my main blog page :D

Problems:
1. I like to have my text "justified" - however, mixing the expandable summary feature with hustified alignment gives me problems :-( Instead of the "read on" link on the next line, it appears after ma…

… and the winner is …

… and there you have it, L&G… Dubya wins it in a pretty close race, and continues as president of the u.s. of a for another term.

Quite a few of you would have received my panic sms at my 230am that indicated dubya (*) was lookin like the winner… at that time he was at 230-ish electoral votes while Kerry had barely reached the 200 mark… and already then it was known that Ohio was the decider, i.e. if Kerry got that state, he had a fighting chance… but if Bush got that, he was pretty much guaranteed the presidency… and at 230am it was “too close to call” but looked like it was going Bush’s way…

If nothing else, I had a slight thrill when I woke up, checked the status, and saw that they were BOTH at around 250 each, with Ohio still in the balance (Ohio would provide the 20 electoral votes needed for either one to become the next prez)… Reading on, with a sinking heart I saw that Ohio was essentially Bush’s but they were in the process of tallying up the provisional votes and absentee…

eggs and obesity and eclipses, oh my!

So... I cooked myself fried eggs with cheese for breakfast earlier this week...

... and i realised that it was my first time in YEARS that I had wielded a frying pan, in a kitchen, and actually COOKED something! yeah yeah, so I did fix myself a packet of PAMA (*wink* @ ENCppl) in PJ, but that's hardly worth considering as "cooking" is it? And i did assist mom in trying out the pre-mixed curry thingy.. but SHE was the chef, not me!

SO, perhaps you are asking yourself - "if she didnt ever cook, what did she do for food?" Then again, most of you know me as the beanie lady, right? heeeheheh! Well, my time of surfin' @ beanie, consuming nothing but my Ice-Vanilla-Latte-Regular-Skim-Milk or my Vanilla-Latte-Large-Skim-Milk_To-Go-Cup are long over... ditto with my midnight visits to my (un)friendly neighbourhood mamak for teh tarik and roti bakar.. all over now. and I heave a sigh of relief :D

Of course, over here I have to watch out for those horribly huge American…

Big Brother and the morality police?

It amazed me to see a recent headline of thestar.com.my, which was in the vein of “Muslim food oulets only allowed to open after 3pm during the fasting month.” Ayoyo… yet another example of the government taking it upon itself to think on behalf of its people….

My take on the month of Ramadhan is that, yes it’s a holy month, yes it’s a time for cleansing, yes we all undergo this not eating/drinking from dawn til dusk, blah blah blah yadiyadiya… but … LIFE GOES ON! It being fasting does NOT mean meetings don’t happen, or that training sessions should not take place. *of course that doesn’t happen in [company name], right? Ha ha ha* You should continue performing as you usually do, PLUS carry out your fasting. Example: If you work as a waiter, you still wait on tables and serve food, even if the aroma of food makes you salivate! It’s still your job, and you need to take such challenges in stride during the fasting month. And if you cave in, well, is it the customer’s fault for wanting to…

A quick note on dubya vs kerry

Yeah, so i watched the 2nd and 3rd presidential candidates debate about two weeks ago (when I first arrived in the u.s.).

Now, my mom had warned me to stay clear of politics since i'm not a citizen of the u.s.... and I rolled my eyes cos I really dont bother even with the politics of my own homecountry,, but anyway,,, the reason i bring this up is, as much as I dont (want to ) bother with politics,,,, but... I tell you.... every time "dubya" spoke, I just wanted to jump up and slap him thru the tv screen! bladi annoying fella ( *wink* @ Oya).

It is quite worrying that dubya seems to still be in the lead (barely) ... and with the actual elections coming up in less than two weeks, I wonder if there is any miracle that will happen for him to NOT get re-elected....

Apart from the "usual" mudslinging (tho it seems the country is much more divided NOW than it was just 4 years ago... feelings run strong now, post 9/11 I guess... i just wish THINKING ran as strongly i…

a week of vegetation does wonders for the soul

My 18th day of jobless bumming whooohoooo!

I am now in the U. S. of A. - have been here for just about a week - am on the first of many legs of visits to ex-collegemates here in Urbana IL plus St Louis MO, Cleveland OH, Chicago IL, among other places...

Getting myself here was quite an experience... first - getting the ticket itself... wow did you know just how much an open ticket costs??!!! almost double that of a return ticket bought at the MATTA fair! ouch ouch ouch ouch!! And this time around, I decided to make my way to the east coast of the u.s. - arriving in Newark NJ instead of Los Angeles CA. While the overall flight is maybe *only* about 2 hours longer this way, it felt way *too* long, y'know?

Of course, my getting past the immigration officer was a miracle in itself... here I am, a single female looking to enter the u.s. on an open ticket, jobless, and claiming to wanna go visit friends. The officer was like "You gotta do better than that to convince me yo…

... the (threat of a) pen is mightier than ... ?

"Look,"I said in frustration, "Just please print out the page in your system saying that Kelana Jaya received my submission in early April. I'll just enclose that together with a letter I will write to protest this situation."

Does that sound like a threat to you? certainly not to me! But after almost 30 mins dealing with this hapless Income Tax officer who did not seem to see the inconsistencies in their data that I was pointing out, and was therefore adamant that my submission was late, and that i was therefore liable for that RM100 penalty,,, i was ready to just throw in the towel, pay the penalty under protest, and write one of my legendary feedback letters to LHDN. ... and yet, when the officer came back with the printout, she was singing a totally different tune! Perhaps she didn't want to have a boo-boo highlighted, even though the 'fault' lay with the Kelana Jaya office, not there at Jalan Duta. But hey, to have the officer offering to ask h…